Just a short while ago, I began commenting on a thread about survival prepping. Now, I know you’re thinking ‘Oh great, a prepper post’ but that’s not what this is. By no definition of the word am I a ‘prepper,’ but I’m also not so naive to think nothing will ever happen to drive me away from my home. From natural disasters to EMP weapons to nuclear strike, there are any number of reasons you may be unable to live as you’re accustomed to now for even a short period of time, and that means you could suffer horribly, or just be inconvenienced, based on being prepared for it.
Now, as I said, I am by no means ‘a prepper,’ but I do know a good deal about many topics, many of them easily translatable into off grid living. The big question you want to ask yourself when considering if you could survive in an emergency situation, is what will you need to do so. The simple answers to that question are:
Food, water, shelter, heating or cooling depending on climate, medical supplies, defensive weapons, hunting/fishing supplies, just to name a few items.
These are, by no means, the only things you’ll need, but it’s a start. Think about what your auto emergency kits at Walmart or Target have in them. Flares, a thermal blanket, bandages, etc. All great things, as flares can signal people looking for you, start a fire, or even drive off predators, since wolves or bears generally don’t like fire. Add some paracord, which is almost universally 500lb test, a solar mirror, water purification straw or tablets, fish hooks, a good knife, and you’re well on your way to ensuring you’re warm, mostly dry, fed and hydrated for a long as you can be.
Some of my friends have also suggested a solar USB charger, as in all but an EMP attack, your phone could be invaluable, as it can generally find you on a map, and give directions, or just make a call that might be triangulated to find you. Naturally, in a situation like the movie Red Dawn, you’re going to want to hide and never be found, but as that’s likely such a long shot as to be laughable, it’s not a bad idea. Not to mention, if you’re traveling with small children, just having some music at night can help too.
The point of all of this is very simple, look at your environment, I’m in north Texas, someone in Colorado will need very different supplies, as would someone in Alaska. Look at where you would go in an emergency, what will you need there. What do you already know how to do and what don’t you. Once you know these things, you can add to your supplies and learn skills you need but haven’t mastered yet. Learn CPR, how to apply a tourniquet or otherwise stop bleeding, how to recognize what not to touch or eat, and so on. Even if nothing ever happens, if your water is poisoned like we saw in Michigan, you have something on hand to use. If your friend falls and gashes their leg at a park, you know how to react as someone also calls 911.
The simple message, prepare for the worst, and pray for the best, is one that isn’t a sign of paranoia to live by. You keep a spare tire or a can of Fix a Flat in your car, right? I know people who hide a $20 bill in their car, so if they run out of gas, they have money. They may never use it, but it’s there, and peace of mind is a good thing. All of this said, I am not an expert by any means. I can trap/hunt/fish and cook what I kill, I can find make a sling or stretcher if needed, I can even fight off predators, including other people, to protect myself and my family, and I know that I don’t know all I need, so I look for books and classes, and listen to others.
What would you include in a bugout bag that isn’t a firearm or ammunition? What would you put into an emergency bag that isn’t listed here?